Creating a short documentary film that successfully conveys its message in less than ten minutes is no mean feat, and this is what makes Joyful stand out. The film, a brainchild and work of Simantini Chakraborty, makes easy of this seemingly insurmountable task to create a vibrant collage of meaning in its eight-minute running time.
In an unconventional documentary fashion, Joyful tells its story through a sequence of footage from everyday life in the twenty-first century, a powerful amalgamation of the past, present and future. The film begins by painting a picture of the average day in an industrialized world, an overwhelming rush that depicts a world in a hurry as if running out of time. It progresses with an acknowledgment of the recent past, through a highlight of events such as the Covid-19 pandemic, civil unrest and demonstrations, pollution and its contribution to an almost irreversible change in climate and human rights violations.
Amidst all that chaos and an overbearing cloud of sadness and despair, the film encourages finding peace and calm in the serene beauty of nature in a series of clips that capture the unblemished beauty of nature and kindle temporary respite from daily life in the viewer.
A careful mixture of sound, color and emotion, Joyful is a unique documentary that tries to shine a spotlight on joyfulness beyond circumstance. It is in cherishing the precious moments, the fleeting magic in the world, and the little aspects of life worth living, that we can find joyfulness.